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What Can You Do With an MBA?

By DeVry University

June 6, 2023

12 min read

If you’re wondering "what you can do with an MBA?" the answer may pleasantly surprise you. Because business practices are a part of virtually every industry, an MBA degree may help open up potential career and advancement opportunities as well as help you improve your business acumen, develop leadership skills and prepare to pursue management or higher-level positions.

What Can You Do With An MBA Degree

While an MBA degree can be incredibly versatile, it's helpful to focus on some of its more specific uses. In this article, we'll walk you through some of the things you can work toward with an MBA degree, including careers you can consider and potential MBA benefits in the following sections:

MBA Careers and Industries

What can you do with an MBA degree? An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a graduate-level degree that can help you pursue a wide range of career opportunities. Unlike industry-specific graduate degrees which tend to dig primarily into one field, an MBA program takes a more generalized approach, encompassing a wider range of subjects and disciplines.

If you’re still wondering, “What can I do with an MBA?” it’s reassuring to know that the versatility of an MBA degree allows it to be applied toward many different career paths, including those intended to lead to senior-level management positions.

To further answer the question of what to do with an MBA and help you become more familiar with the careers you may want to pursue, here are some of the fields where an MBA degree can be applied, along with a brief explanation of what each involves and a sampling of corresponding MBA jobs.

What Can You Do with an MBA in Business Administration

Business administration is a career path for which MBA degree holders may find themselves readily suited, though it is by no means their only option. This discipline focuses on managing the day-to-day operations within a corporate setting. After earning this degree, you may be able to consider a number of positions, including ones related to helping businesses make the kind of well-informed decisions that can lead to growth and increased profitability.

This may include the management or analysis of business operations, the development and management of new marketing opportunities, or the management of products. You also may be prepared to take on a position that directs information technology (IT) operations, manages stakeholder-driven projects or even launch your own business.

Possible job titles include:

  • Business Operations Manager

  • IT Director

  • Management Analyst

  • Market Research Analyst

  • Marketing Manager

  • Operations Research Analyst

  • Product Manager

  • Project Manager

What Can You Do with an MBA in Finance

Finance focuses on the management of money, particularly through the investment of business funds. A finance professional may be involved in evaluating and managing a company’s new investments and play a role in selecting what projects and acquisitions the company should pursue for a positive return on its investment.

An MBA with a Specialization in Finance from DeVry and its Keller Graduate School of Management may help you gain an understanding of today’s complex financial markets and help you prepare to pursue a career role in bank management, investment banking, financial planning and analysis, or commercial or residential lending.

Possible job titles include:

  • Financial Analyst

  • Business Manager

  • Financial Planner

What Can You Do with an MBA in Accounting

Accounting involves tracking money that flows through a business. Accountants both in private practice and in accounting departments of businesses manage funds, prepare financial reports and make sure taxes are being paid properly. They may also perform internal audits that enable them to refine bookkeeping procedures or recommend changes in the organization’s financial management.

An MBA with a Specialization in Accounting may help you prepare to pursue a broad variety of career roles in accounting, accounting management, auditing or payroll operations. Earning an MBA in Accounting can also be one of the ways you work toward the educational requirements for the CPA exam and eventually pursue opportunities that require CPA licensure.

Possible job titles include:

  • Accountant

  • Accounting Manager

  • Auditor

  • Management Accountant

  • Payroll Staff Manager

What Can You Do with an MBA in Marketing

The broad field of marketing focuses on the branding or image of a company and its products or services. It also seeks to establish new markets or distribution channels for a company’s existing products or help develop new ones. Marketing professionals may work on campaigns that help customers understand the benefits of the brand or product, or foster greater brand loyalty through incentives and promotions.

An MBA with a Specialization in Marketing may prepare you to pursue a wide variety of roles in marketing or brand management, advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), public relations and digital marketing, helping to increase the awareness and sales of products and brands. You may elect to pursue a career in market research, an important aspect of the marketing process that measures consumer opinion to develop new products or improve existing ones.

Possible career paths include:

  • Advertising    

  • Brand Management

  • Digital Marketing

  • Industrial Buying

  • Marketing Research Analysis and Management

  • Product Distribution

  • Product Management

  • Promotion and Public Relations

What Can You Do with an MBA in Human Resources (HR)

Human resources focuses on the management of a company’s relationship with its employees. This may involve recruiting, hiring and onboarding new talent, retaining existing talent and managing employee benefits programs. Recruiters and other HR professionals interface regularly with operations managers at their companies.

An MBA with a Specialization in Human Resources may prepare you to pursue HR-related roles in the management of employee compensation and benefits, recruiting and hiring, an organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) or its learning and development (L&D) initiatives. 

Possible job titles include:

  • Human Resources Manager

  • Compensation and Benefits Manager

  • Training and Development Manager

  • Technical Recruiter

What Can You Do with an MBA in Healthcare Services

The healthcare industry relies on business professionals to help keep facilities like hospitals, group medical practices and surgery centers running smoothly. Administrative leaders on the business side of healthcare ensure that services are being delivered safely, efficiently and in compliance with state and federal regulatory guidelines, all while providing the highest level of patient care.

This MBA specialization can help you prepare to pursue a number of careers in the administrative management (vs. the clinical management) of administrative or medical services or in the compliance area of healthcare management.

Possible job titles include:

  • Adminstratrive Services Management

  • Health or Medical Services Management

  • Regulatory Affairs and Compliance

What Can You Do with an MBA in Information Systems Management

Information systems managers oversee teams of IT professionals and help to ensure that an organization’s software, networks and computer systems are running smoothly. They are also responsible for identifying when system upgrades are needed to improve business functionality.

An  Information Systems Management MBA specialization may prepare you to pursue important information technology roles that interface with other IT professionals, providing data-driven advice on how a company can expand or refine its operations based on its current and projected needs, and identifying vulnerabilities or areas needing improvement.

Database management is another important specialty within this field, focusing on the operation and safeguarding of databases that many enterprises rely on, particularly those in e-commerce.

Possible careers include:

  • Database Management

  • Information Systems Analyst

  • Information Systems Management

What Can You Do with an MBA in Project Management

Project managers in many industries use a combination of technical and workplace skills, like time management, critical thinking and organization and analytical skills to oversee teams that work on both small and large-scale projects and report their progress to project stakeholders.

An MBA with a Specialization in Project Management can help you prepare to pursue various project management roles on single projects or wide-ranging programs, or focus on specific vertical aspects of project management like operations, supply chain management, regulatory affairs or compliance.

Possible job titles include:

  • Project Manager

  • General Manager

  • Operations and Supply Chain Manager

  • Product Manager

  • Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Manager

  • Management Analyst

MBA Career Benefits

Because an MBA is a graduate-level degree, it has a number of potential benefits that a bachelor's degree may not offer. In particular, MBA graduates may be able to consider higher-level opportunities when it comes to jobs. In some cases, they may even be able to bypass entry-level jobs when they enter the workforce, depending on the position, employer and specific job requirements.

Other potential MBA benefits that you may experience include:

  • The opportunity to further develop your leadership skills

  • Networking with professionals in your field

  • Getting up to date on industry trends and technology

Is Earning an MBA a Good Career Choice?

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the field of business, an MBA degree can not only help you develop interpersonal and leadership skills, but can also help you stay abreast of current industry trends, acquaint you with technology used in the field and teach strategy, negotiation and other important business skills.

What Can You Do with an MBA FAQs

Is demand rising for an MBA?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment in management occupations is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for the national rate. The BLS further projects this growth to result in 883,900 new jobs over the decade.1 It’s important to note that this growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. This projection is not specific to DeVry University graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers. And while this projected growth does not apply to MBA holders specifically, it's reasonable to assume that some employers may require or prefer candidates to hold a master's degree, such as an MBA, for management-level roles.

Additionally, an MBA can teach you many useful leadership and interpersonal skills which may allow you to consider management roles at a variety of companies.

What is the time commitment for an MBA?

As a general rule, it takes a little more than 2 years to earn an MBA degree for students who are enrolled in a full course load each term. Students who choose to study part time will find that it typically takes longer.

Here at DeVry, you can earn your MBA degree in as little as 2 years and 2 months, or even more quickly if you have qualifying transfer credits.2

What skills are helpful in earning an MBA?

According to LinkedIn, students looking to succeed in an MBA program should possess these traits:

  • Commitment and Focus
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity
  • Decision-Making Skills
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Logical Analysis

Are there benefits to earning an MBA with a specialization?

An MBA specialization teaches you the foundational business management skills and concepts of a general MBA, with an added emphasis in industry-focused disciplines like accounting, finance, marketing, project management and more.

According to The Princeton Review, a specialized MBA can help MBA students gain more targeted management experience in a specific industry or profession. This can be an advantage for MBA students with a preferred career path.

At DeVry, we offer 10 MBA specializations to help you tailor your degree to your interests and career aspirations, along with a core curriculum that emphasizes the skills and concepts that businesses may look for in today’s global economy.

What are the steps to earning an MBA?

While each person’s path is unique, here are a few steps to help guide you on your MBA journey:

  • Earn your bachelor’s degree: Since an MBA is a graduate-level degree, you will not be able to pursue an MBA without first earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Choose your next steps: Determine whether you’d like to explore your field of interest by getting some on-the-job experience or dive into your MBA program right away. You may also choose to pursue your MBA degree while working full- or part-time.
  • Select and apply for your MBA program: Once you’ve chosen the program that’s right for you, connect with an Admissions Representative to understand the institution’s admissions process and requirements. At DeVry, applicants to our Keller Graduate School of Management must hold a bachelor’s degree from a University-recognized institution and demonstrate math and verbal skills proficiency. Proficiency can be demonstrated by achieving an undergraduate GPA higher than 2.50 on a 4.0 scale, or submitting acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council. More detailed information can be found on the Graduate School Admissions page of our website.
  • Start your MBA program: Whether attending classes in-person or online, take advantage of student resources like office hours and tutoring to further reinforce your learning experience.

Earn your MBA Degree at DeVry

Looking to expand your knowledge of the business world by pursuing an MBA degree? At DeVry, we offer a variety of MBA degree MBA degree specializations that can help you focus on your interests and work toward a career you love. Earn your degree on your schedule while balancing work or family by taking classes 100% online. Classes start soon.

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